Cabinet agrees changes to parking charges
Shropshire Council’s Cabinet has approved changes to parking charges in the council’s car parks and on-street parking areas.
The increased charges are being introduced to encourage people to change behaviour, and to raise additional income for spending on the maintenance of car parks.
The changes will come into effect on Monday 1 April 2024 (Easter Monday).
In Shrewsbury, the increase in charges will help redistribute vehicles by encouraging motorists to park outside of the river loop, or to use Park and Ride or other bus services, or – if possible – to walk, cycle or use other forms of active travel. The increase varies by car park.
Improvements to the reliability and frequency of the park and ride service is needed, and initially research will take place into the feasibility of a late bus for people unable to catch the current last bus at 6.30pm.
Additionally, a half-price park and ride promotion is set to begin in April, offering people a return journey into the town centre for just £1.
Outside Shrewsbury parking charges are set to rise by a set 20p per hour, though many car parks will remain free.
Across the county the increase in tariffs will help the council to improve the operation and maintenance of its car parks.
Other changes will see charging for parking until 8pm (rather than 6pm as at present) in Shrewsbury, and the introduction of/increase in Sunday and Bank Holiday charges across the county. See notes.
Permit/season ticket charges will also increase in proportion with the hourly tariff changes, but – for example – an annual permit:
- for Abbey Foregate in Shrewsbury will cost less than £16 a week (£800/year).
- for St Julian’s Friars in Shrewsbury will cost £13 a week (£681/year).
- for Oswestry, Ludlow and Market Drayton will cost less than £10 a week (£480/year).
It is estimated that an additional income of £1.76m per year will be achieved after implementation costs have been taken out.
By law, any surplus money Shropshire Council receives from car parking over and above the cost of providing and administering it must be used for the benefit of road users.
Any surplus generated from these changes would therefore be put towards improvements to car parks; and any further surplus money would be used to fund public transport services, road improvements projects and environmental improvement.
Cabinet also agreed the preparation of a Parking Asset Improvement Plan for the repair and maintenance of car parks throughout Shropshire; to review the parking service’s roles and structure; and to review and rewrite the council’s parking strategy.
Dan Morris, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“In Shrewsbury the primary objective is to encourage motorists to park outside the river loop, or use other forms of transport; reducing the number of vehicles entering the town centre, helping to increase the number of spaces available for those who need them, and minimising emissions.
“And across the county, our 83 car parks have not kept pace with maintenance requirements such as surfacing, lining, signing, drainage, boundaries, green assets and cleaning. To address the car park maintenance needs in Shropshire, an increase in charges is required throughout the county.
“We continue to encourage people to visit Shrewsbury and support its local businesses, but we hope these proposals will encourage people to park outside Shrewsbury’s river loop – or use alternative modes of travel. They will also enable the council to better maintain our car parks and bring them up to the standard that people require and expect.”
The existing parking strategy was written in 2017 and adopted by Cabinet in 2018, and needs revision to take account of changing circumstances and lessons.
A new, more flexible parking strategy will be written, within the next six to 12 months, which would entail a countywide non-statutory consultation.
Sunday and Bank Holidays charges:
- Where charges are currently half price they will be charged at full price.
- Where parking is currently free, it will be charged at half price.
Shrewsbury contributes 71% of the overall increase in parking income, whilst Shropshire (excluding Shrewsbury) contributes 29%. This significant imbalance illustrates the need to influence the behaviour of motorists in Shrewsbury.